In 2019, investments in blockchain in Italy reached 30 million euros, an increase of 100% compared to 2018. This was revealed by the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Observatory of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano. According to the research reported by Ansa, investments are still limited and companies are far from fully aware of the potential of this technology.
The research reveals that Italy launched 16 projects in 2019, which are not few at all; on the contrary, the Bel Paese ranks second behind the United Kingdom. However, Italian companies are familiar with the blockchain but make very little use of it. Only 2% of large companies and 1% of small ones have started blockchain projects, even though 37% of large companies and 20$ of small ones are familiar with the technology.
The sectors where blockchain is applied include finance and insurance for 40% of cases, followed by the agri-food sector and public administration. In particular, the use focuses on payment systems and tracking of the supply chain.
It is precisely in the agri-food sector that the next investments could be concentrated. The current Minister Teresa Bellanova makes no secret of seeing blockchain technology as an important opportunity for the agricultural sector. The objective is to guarantee better traceability of products, to be more transparent towards consumers and to protect the Made in Italy trademark.
The Ministry of Economic Development, for its part, in addition to having already started testing with blockchain for the protection of the Made in Italy, has made available 4 million euros for six projects based on new technologies. One of these involves blockchain technology and was specifically presented by the SIAE, the public body for the protection of copyright. The project aims to use blockchain technology to uniquely identify copyright holders.
The initiative also uses the 5G network to protect audiovisual and entertainment content, especially outside national borders. The idea is ambitious and aims to be replicated internationally.
Returning to the research of the Politecnico di Milano, it reveals that in 2019 there have been 488 blockchain projects worldwide, a value that registers an annual growth of 56%. The United States, South Korea and China are the most representative countries with 53, 31 and 29 projects respectively.